The Success Principles of Poker: You Have to Believe It’s Possible

Do you believe you have what it takes to be a professional poker player?

Do you really believe? Or is your mind filled with doubt?

After all, you lose more than you win. Come on. Be honest.

You don’t believe you can do it, do you?

A Year to Make a Career in Poker

The day I decided to quit my 19-year career in the rail industry was a contrast of emotions.

At first I had this incredible sense of fear. I was sitting in my van in a steelworks. As I looked around me everything looked grey. The world was closing in on me.

My thoughts kept taking me to a place of destitution. I didn’t know if I had the ability to become a poker player. I didn’t have the belief.

We worry a lot about external dream breakers, but we're the enemy.

Yet as a railway man I had belief. I knew my role. I had safety in consistency and understanding.

It became too much for me. I just sat there and blubbered like a baby. Then I quit. I felt free. I cried some more.

I felt light and excited; the fear had subsided. I had a year to get this right. That was a long time back then.

The barriers of time acting like a cushion, preventing the fear from gnawing away at my bones. A few weeks later I would create a Breakthrough Goal:

  • “To earn $45,000 playing poker in 12 months.”

If I could do this I knew, I would be ok.

I Didn't Have a Poker Player's Mindset

A few weeks into my goal I started to realize how difficult my challenge was. I changed my Breakthrough Goal:

  • “To earn $45,000 through poker in 12 months.”

That was over three years ago. Today I earn nearly three times that much through poker. I am living proof that you can do, or be, anything you want to as long as you have belief.

The majority of people fail to achieve their dreams because of this one circumstance. Ironic, really. We worry so much about external dream breakers when in truth we are the enemy.

I didn’t make $45,000 playing poker because I lacked belief in my ability to successfully win over the long run whilst maintaining the right balance of managing poker and my family.

I kept worrying about how I would support my family. Each time I played I was so desperate to win that my development as a player was skewed.

Chip stacks grow with confidence.

I didn’t have a poker player’s mindset. It was like being inside those steelworks again. I was a little boy lost.

I Have Belief

When I changed the goal I could now earn money through poker in a myriad of ways. I felt my confidence grow.

The confidence helped fuel my belief. I had one success story. My belief grew further, my positivity blossomed.

I had another success story. I grew even further. This continues today. Three years ago I had never written anything. Today I make my living from writing.

My next goal is to leave all of this behind and help millions of people quit alcohol. That will happen. Do you know why? Because I completely and utterly believe that it’s true.

I see it every day in meditation. I re-affirm through affirmation. Every cell in my body believes that I am going to help millions of people. I have belief.

Kenney, Lichtenberger and Negreanu Transformed

During the summer Bryn Kenney won a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet. Kenney was a man transformed. He had lost so much weight. His choices around the quality of his life had changed.

Each time he looked into the mirror he felt more confident. That confidence turned into belief. He took that to the table and battered people with it

Andrew Lichtenberger
Lichtenberger: Knew he'd be successful.

Andrew Lichtenberger decided that he would late-reg most events at this year’s series. He had the utmost belief in his ability to still win regardless of registering late.

The year previous he had turned up on the dot every single day. It didn’t work out. He suffered from burnout, his confidence and belief shattered.

Lichtenberger didn’t win a bracelet but he came away a big winner. It’s not just about the money.

The man had an aura about him that was unmistakable. He was a winner, irrespective of results. He had the belief that no matter what happened he would be successful. And he was.

Finally, Daniel Negreanu credited his wonder year of 2013 to his decision to enrol in the Choice Center. They would have worked a lot on his belief systems, positivity and the process of his thoughts.

Speak to him and he is a winner. He always will be because he has belief that he can achieve anything. And he will. Will you?

Sam Trickett
“As long as I play each hand to the best of my ability then I am a winner irrespective of the result.”

Losing is a Good Thing

The challenge in poker comes when you're on a downswing. I said it earlier but I'm not shy of repeating this because it’s so important.

You lose more than you win in poker. This is even true of the Daniel Negreanus of the world. You have to have a mindset that losing is a good thing. It gives you the opportunity to learn.

Losing a hand, session or tournament is not the correct yardstick from which to measure success. Sam Trickett believes in himself because he takes his poker one hand at a time.

“As long as I play each hand to the best of my ability then I am a winner irrespective of the result,” said Trickett.

Trickett has always had huge belief in his ability. Even when he was broke he still believed that it was only a matter of time before he was successful.

Sam Trickett has huge reservoirs of belief. So how does this happen?

Your Thoughts Change the Way You Play Poker

Our brains are clever little things. Over time they have developed the ability to predict what is going to happen next based on our previous actions.

Mike Matusow
If you think the poker gods are a bunch of tossers, you're going to see more lost flips than winning ones.

This is why a stubbed toe sets off a chain reaction of events that turns a beautiful day into one you would rather forget.

Why do you think we go on heaters? Why do you think we have a downswing? Do you think that it’s coincidental that our luck bunches like this?

Even when the cards are not falling for you your belief in yourself will change the course of action.

The way you play — even the most indistinguishable of actions — will all be acted out dependent on the way you're thinking at a sub-conscious level.

If you believe that the poker gods are a bunch of tossers then you're going to see more lost flips than winning ones.

If you know that you're going to lose a ton of flips, and this has no bearing on your ability as a player, then you get through the process much easier.

Your belief carries you into the next hand in a much more equipped state of mind. Your thoughts change the way that you play.

Our Minds Expected Us to Get Drunk Quicker

When I was a child someone told me if you mixed antibiotics with alcohol then you would get drunk quicker. During a school trip I sneaked some beer into my room and we all drank it with the antibiotics I had been prescribed for my acne.

We were falling all over the place. I later learned that antibiotics will not affect you in this way. Alcohol diminishes their ability to do their job, but they don’t increase your merriness.

So what happened? Our minds expected us to get drunk quicker and so that’s what happened. This is why positive thoughts, and having belief in oneself, is so important.

Daniel Negreanu
If you think Negreanu's arrogant it's time to check in with your thinking.

There are some people who believe Daniel Negreanu is a tosser. That he is arrogant and over-confident.

Take a different view. He is empowering. He is creating a bubble of belief that is so thick you would need a rather big pin to burst it.

If you think he is arrogant, then check in with your thinking. You can learn so much from this man’s powering of his belief system.

If your parents said you were a loser, the school kids said the same, as did your teachers, then you probably thought you were a loser.

It wouldn’t have been their words that hurt you but your own agreement with them. They load the gun and you shoot yourself 50 times in the head.

You conditioned yourself to grow up with a lack of belief. Fortunately, we can change.

Re-Wire Yourself, Then Watch As You Take Off

We control our thoughts. It’s true that all manner of thoughts invade our mind. But we choose those we wish to bring to the forefront and those we wish to push into the basement.

Be smart about what you are thinking about. Believe. Do this every day. Re-wire your poker brain. Then watch as you take off.

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2014-09-28 14:08:23

Great article. Very well written and really true. Thanks!

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